D is for Duck by David Melling

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D is for Duck by David Melling

Category: For Sharing
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Ruth Ng
Reviewed by Ruth Ng
Summary: An alphabet book that feels a bit different to the usual fare, with more interesting word choices, and more of a story too.
Buy? yes Borrow? yes
Pages: 32 Date: August 2016
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9781444931099

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Duck, the magician, is giving a demonstration of his magical skills, conjuring up a wide variety of items from his top hat. Things begin normally enough with a bunny, but with lizards and lions and dragons following on soon after duck finds that perhaps his magic is getting a little out of hand!

Seeing that this was an alphabet book, I had expected it to be the usual 'a is for apple' and other predictable letter representations. I should have known that David Melling would do it in a much more interesting and enjoyable way! Here there is a story behind what's happening, with duck showing off his magical skills. We are led, alphabetically, through the events of the book until after a large egg appears, much to everyone's surprise, we then get a fox and a goat, in quick succession, followed by the egg hatching (H is for hatch!) Things get wild after this, with all sorts of things appearing from the top hat, and duck desperately trying to fix everything with magic.

I like that not every letter is a creature coming from the hat but that there are also expressions and happenings such as 'oops' and 'panic'! The excitement builds until the final ending of the book, which results in a loud, magical 'zap' and, well, I'll let you see for yourselves! It's fun to read aloud, and although you're just dealing with single words at a time you can throw plenty of expression into what's going on, and the fabulous illustrations demonstrate exactly how exciting this is! I loved the more unusual words, and they are all drawn very clearly, with a large, coloured capital letter so that it's easy for little ones to see the letter each time, and to join in calling out the alphabet as you go along.

The illustrations are full of Melling's usual flare. Duck is endearing, with his cape and fez and fake moustache. I also liked seeing the expressions of all the creatures he conjures, including the dragon who is not really as scary as he initially seems. If I had any kind of quibble it would possibly be over the letter x which here stands for kiss, but x is always the troublesome one (you can only have so many xylophones…) and I think I'll forgive it because I really like that h is for hatch as it sits so well in making this a story more than an alphabet book! All the pictures are colourful, and clearly drawn, and even if your little listener is too young to follow or understand the alphabet, there's lots of enjoyment to be had in the pictures, and it all goes into their heads along the way.

Perfect for a group read-aloud at nurseries, or just for a funny afternoon snuggle on the sofa.

Further reading suggestion: For more alphabetical delights you could also try Kipper's A To Z by Mick Inkpen and When I Dream Of ABC by Henry Fisher.

Buy D is for Duck by David Melling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy D is for Duck by David Melling at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy D is for Duck by David Melling at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy D is for Duck by David Melling at Amazon.com.


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